Thursday, November 05, 2015

Minnesota Jury Awards Clergy Sex Abuse Victim $8.1 Million

In one of the largest clergy sex abuse awards on record, a Ramsey County, Minnesota jury yesterday awarded $8.1 million to a plaintiff identified as Doe 30 in his suit against the Diocese of Duluth .  According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Doe 30, as an altar boy in 1978, was abused by priest James Vincent Fitzgerald who is now deceased. Fitzgerald assaulted Doe 30 for two weeks in 1978 while taking him on a trip across Minnesota. The jury found that the Diocese was 60% responsible for the negligent supervision of Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald's order, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, who were found 40% responsible, had previously been dismissed from the case. The verdict is the first under Minnesota's 2013 Child Victims Act which created a 3-year window for previously time-barred suits to be filed.